The events of last week make you wonder what is wrong with people. What is wrong with the way we think. What is wrong with the way we treat each other.
Two acts of terrorism hit our country last week and they were both from within. It was like friendly fire, but these two guys are no friends.
I’ll never forger the morning of 9-11 when we were sitting in the newsroom putting the wraps on that day’s paper. It was a normal day until I got a call from Steve Trosley, our publisher at the time, with the news an airplane had flown into the World Trade Center.
And as we all know, our lives are still affected today by what happened back in 2001.
But those attacks came from terrorists from other countries who hate the United States. They are our enemies who we let slip in and attack us inside of our borders.
We have spent years making sure this will never happen again. But as we spent all of that time and money worrying about protecting our country from the outside, we now are being attacked from the inside.
It happened twice last week.
The man suspected of sending 14 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats around the country was formally charged Monday.
Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., is facing federal charges and could receive up to 48 years in prison if convicted.
As of Friday, authorities had intercepted 14 packages Sayoc sent through the U.S. mail system, officials said. None of the devices detonated and no one was injured.
Among his alleged targets were former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Rep. Maxine Waters.
Sayoc is expected to stand trial on five federal crimes: Interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers.
Sayoc told investigators after he was arrested in Plantation, Fla. that the pipe bombs wouldn’t have hurt anyone and that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, according to a law enforcement official. But federal authorities say the bombs Sayoc allegedly sent were real and a danger to their recipients.
Robert Bowers, 46, has been identified as the suspect in Saturday's horrific mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that resulted in 11 fatalities and six injuries.
A suspected gunman who burst into a Pittsburgh synagogue shouting “All Jews must die!,” killing 11 worshippers and wounding six other people, was charged late Saturday with 29 federal counts, including hate crimes.
Bowers was taken into custody after being wounded in a shootout with police at the scene of the “horrific” mass shooting, according to law enforcement officials. Among the wounded were four police officers.
Bowers reportedly burst into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh and screamed anti-Semitic epithets, as he opened fire on the congregants, law enforcement officials said.
Police said he was armed with an assault rifle and three handguns.
Is this what our world has come to? The hate we spew — from the White House on down — every day is terrible.
Remember, next time that could be your church or my church or synagogue or any place of worship.
Is this the way we want to live?
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]